MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island is seeing the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases since it began reopening in May.
However, school students attending in-person classes have not been a part of the spread, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.
Long Island continues to hover above 3% in the latest daily positive coronavirus tests, but health officials say schools remain safe.
“The return to school has been an incredible success. It’s about 99% of in-person school days have occurred,” Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.
Long Island districts spent more on COVID-related expenses — teachers, transportation, personal protective equipment (PPE) — than any other region in the state.
“As county executive, I will do everything I can to keep our schools open,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said. “Our contact tracers have found that school buildings have not been a major vector of transmission.”
- Health Experts Stress Need To Fight ‘Mask Exhaustion’
- Tri-State Area Coronavirus Travel Advisory List
- CBS2’s Dr. Max Answers Your Health Questions
- Resources: Unemployment, Hunger, Mental Health & More
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
The spread has been traced to students only when they have socialized off campus, health officials said.
“The issue is when they leave the schools there is a lack of discipline. I think our parents have to provide more oversight,” Nassau BOCES Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert Dillon said.
And there is pressure on districts, many in lower-wealth areas, to provide computers and laptops now. It’s November and many are still struggling.
“We came up to get our laptops. They never gave them to us,” one student said. “We’re not learning.”
“It’s sad because our children are losing out on precious education that they need right now,” a parent said.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Some parents don’t want all remote learning or obstacles like computer scarcity causing their children to give up on public education.
Dr. Michael Nagler, the superintendent of Mineola Public Schools, said he and his Long Island colleagues see other great challenges.
“Children do not have access to quality broadband and they can have all the devices they want. If you can’t log on and download with some reliable speed, you are at a disadvantage,” Nagler said.
Districts without laptops claim it’s a supply-and-demand issue and the digital divide in our country and region will not be solved any time soon.
MORE FROM CBS NEW YORK